The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming

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The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A sweet story that would be helpful in building confidence in a shy child, and encouraging little ones who move house to make new friends.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Child's Play (International) Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846434815

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Posy has moved to a new house, and she's feeling lonely. She isn't sure she likes it there - the neighbours might be a bit scary, and she doesn't like the shadows in her new room, and she's worried about starting a new school. What if no-one likes her? Luckily she has her dog, George, to keep her company, and one night the two of them find a magical boat in the garden that leads them to lots of exciting new adventures.

I moved home several times as a child, and it was always a difficult process. Not only are you dealing with a strange new home that doesn't feel like home, but you're sad about those you've left behind and worried about the new people you've got to now meet. This book would have been perfect for when I moved house as a little girl. The sweet, gentle story isn't horribly obvious and preachy, and instead looks quietly at the idea of being scared of something new and finding the courage to face new people and situations.

When Posy and George find the red boat in their garden they go on lots of imaginary adventures together, and so when Posy can't sleep at night she and George sneak back down to the boat. This time the boat starts floating into the air, and off they go into the night! They find themselves in a very cold place, surrounded by polar bears. Posy is nervous but George gives her a nudge and says 'Woof' and so Posy bravely says hello. Of course the polar bears turn out to be very friendly! The next day, buoyed by this encounter, Posy finds herself brave enough to say hello to her new neighbours, who also turn out to be very friendly!

The night time boat adventures continue as Posy continues to grow in confidence, thanks to George's little nudges and his friendly woof! And so Posy discovers that she does like her new home, and her neighbours, her bedroom, and of course she makes lots of lovely new friends at school!

The illustrations for this story are lovely. They're soft and colourful and George the dog is very cute and delightfully rotund! The pictures are all well thought-out and I liked the variety between full page images, smaller pictures and panel pictures too. The polar bears in the story, like George, have big round tummies and are very sweet, and I also really like the page of Posy on a plain meeting a large group of animals ranging from rhinos and giraffes to meerkats and monkeys! The story would work well for little ones who need a bit of help in being confident with new people, and of course to any who are facing the stresses and strains of moving house. And even if you don't have a child with a specific requirement, this is still just a lovely story to share, and it's nice and gentle for bedtime reading too if you're looking for a wind-down book!

If your child is facing specific bedtime fears rather than just general confidence issues then you might want to take a look at Bookbag's Top Ten Picture Books For Overcoming Bedtime Woes. We also have a review of The Lost Stars by Hannah Cumming.

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Buy The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming at


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